Flint, Annie Johnson
b Vineland, NJ, USA, 1866, d Clifton Springs, New York, USA 1932. Born to Eldon and Mrs Johnson who both died before Annie was 6. Adopted with her sister by the Flint family, she was writing verse by the age of 9 and learned to play the piano setting several poems to music. Choosing to keep both surnames, she went to school at Trenton, NJ, and became a teacher, but progressive arthritis soon took over and 5 years later she could no longer walk. She moved to be near Clifton Springs Sanitarium, where she could be hostess to several ministers, missionaries, teachers and other Christian workers. So long as she could still sit at her piano and play she concentrated on her music, but soon even that became impossible as her hands were so affected. Even her poetry was restricted when she could no longer write, but she still persevered by tapping the typewriter keys with her knuckles. Her poems were printed on a series of published cards as well as in books and periodicals; some were set to music as hymns, and her remarkably contented Christian faith is reflected by the hymn for which she is best remembered, as here. One of her ‘card verses’ still in use among sufferers is headed ‘Promises’ and carries a similar message to that of the hymn: ‘God has not promised skies always blue/ flower-strewn pathways all our lives through…But God has promised strength for the day,/ rest for the labour, light for the way’, etc. A biography, The Making of the Beautiful, was written by Dr Bingham, and some time in the 1970s (?undated) over 100 of her ‘Best-loved Poems’ were published in Toronto with an appreciative Foreword by Dr J H Hunter. Many of these are reflections on God’s creation, not without flashes of humour, and they include ‘Christ has no hands but our hands/ To do his work today.’ No.896.